You’ve probably heard that dogs are man’s best friend.
And it’s true! A well-behaved dog is an absolute joy to have around the house.
But some dogs just don’t want to walk on leashes, which can make them difficult to handle and keep close by when you need them most.
Thankfully, there are plenty of things you can do to get your dog comfortable with walking and make it easier on yourself in the process!
Here are 5 tips to help your dog enjoy walking.
1) Leave treats at regular spots
Before you begin your walk, leave treats along your route for your dog to find and enjoy.
This will not only keep him entertained, but it will also make his training easier—as he’ll be more likely to focus on you when there are treats around.
If your dog gets distracted easily by squirrels or other neighborhood animals, mark certain spots with a treat so that he learns to pay attention whenever he sees them.
Eventually, you won’t need treats at all—he’ll just want to walk for exercise and fun!
Be sure to get an appropriate leash: The best leash is one that is comfortable for both you and your pup.
You don’t want anything too heavy or too light. Try one of these options before deciding what’s right for you.
A bungee leash, retractable leashes, and leashes made from materials like nylon or leather.
Make sure the collar fits well: Dogs can grow quickly (or drop weight in the case of shedding seasons), so it’s important to check their collars regularly.
If they’re too tight or uncomfortable, then it can lead to neck injuries or muscle problems in their back–not good!
Look out for seasonal safety hazards: Certain times of year have dangers that your pup may encounter on walks.
2) Enlist a friend
If you’re struggling to get your pup out on a walk, don’t be afraid to enlist a friend!
Dogs sometimes don’t want to go outside because they simply haven’t developed enough confidence or muscle tone.
Think of it like pulling weeds in your garden: if you just yank them out without loosening their roots first, they grow right back.
Similarly, if you try walking your dog but she just doesn’t seem interested.
Help her develop more confidence and strength by starting with very short walks (maybe five minutes at a time).
And gradually increasing their length as she gains strength and stamina.
You can also use the leash like a trapeze bar: stand side-by-side and hold onto the leash in one hand, then lean over the top of your dog’s head and start swinging your arms.
You’ll find that not only will this make for a much more enjoyable experience for both of you, but it will give her some much-needed exercise too!
3) Use two collars, two leashes, and two harnesses
This may seem a little crazy, but you can use multiple attachments on your dog to make walking easier.
A collar, harness, and leash mean that when you stop or if your dog tries to bolt away from you, he’ll get stopped by one of them.
By using two collars and leashes—one attached around his neck and one around his waist—you’ll ensure that he has control at all times and also gets attention from both sides of his body.
This can be especially helpful for dogs who are strong on their backs but weak on their stomachs (think German Shepherds).
Two leashes will help you keep your pup under control while training him at home as well. The key is to teach the dog not to pull on the leash with each other one of these in hand.
To start, tie the long leash loosely to something sturdy like a tree and attach the shorter one securely to your wrist.
Put treats in front of the puppy and walk towards them so they back up towards the long lead tethering them to the tree.
Praise your pet with each step forward without pulling on either side of the leash, then give your pup some treats when they reach you.
Keep practicing this exercise until he walks calmly next to you before attaching just one leash for walks outside.
4) Walk with someone else’s dog
If your dog doesn’t enjoy walking, try taking him for a walk with another dog, such as a friend or neighbor.
Dogs have their own set of social rules and having an escort can be helpful.
You’ll get some fresh air and exercise while Fido learns that he doesn’t have to be nervous while walking with other dogs.
The other dog’s owner can reinforce Fido’s positive behavior by giving him plenty of love and praise.
Another option is to do one-on-one training sessions so you don’t need the help of a third party. Try new routes: Changing up the scenery can make walks more interesting and enjoyable for your pup.
Make sure they’re not too short: Fifteen minutes might seem like enough time, but most dogs need at least 30 minutes of daily activity, preferably 45 minutes!
5) Schedule regular breaks:
Walks are great exercise, but too much intensity can lead to joint pain later in life.
Be sure to take at least two breaks during each outing – one every half hour – and stop if the pup shows signs of overexertion or fatigue.
There are also many different types of leash accessories that can give your hands a break from holding onto the leash all day long.
Consider investing in either hand loops or shoulder straps (like this) which will allow you to use your arms to carry other items while out on walks without having to hold onto the leash all day long.
6) Hire a professional dog walker:
Whether it’s just once per week or five days per week, hiring someone else for these responsibilities will free up some valuable family time!
7) Use a distraction in training
All sorts of distractions can be used in dog training—including toys, treats, and other animals.
Use a distraction, like another dog or a toy, as part of your dog’s training regime.
He’ll learn faster when there are other things around him that he wants to focus on instead of you.
Distractions help with focus and reduce anxiety.